TVstuff: Ditching the Dish

After more than seven years with DirecTV, the International House of Johnson will switch to cable television next week. Why? The bundle. Time-Warner is offering us some fairly significant savings if we bundle our phone, Internet and television services, which we currently get through MCI, Time-Warner and DirecTV, respectively. ((The bulk of the savings will come from switching the phone service, but we’ll get a slight discount on the Internet and television services as well.))

I’m a little trepidatious about the switch, especially because I really have no major complaints about DirecTV service and I’ve got a slew of movies on the DVR that I haven’t gotten around to watching yet:

  • Live Free or Die Hard
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • The Invasion
  • Larva
  • Beneath Loch Ness
  • Raging Sharks

Speaking of the DVR, I neglected to ask the customer service representative what the capacity of the Time-Warner DVR is; I’ve gotten used to having 100 hours to play with and I’ll be a little disappointed if that drops to 35 hours, which was the capacity of our original DirecTiVo.

On the other hand, I’m looking forward to On-Demand programming, which wasn’t an option on DirecTV unless we significantly upgraded our service and equipment. If there are enough On-Demand titles too keep a certain young apprentice happy, I may never have to record an episode of LazyTown again. ((Which is not to say I don’t like LazyTown. Like most of the shows Kyle enjoys, it has its own special, freaky charm. I give Stefan Karl, who plays Robbie Rotten, a lot of credit for being a very entertaining physical actor; he’s also a surprisingly good-looking guy under the prosthetics.))

The other thing I’m a little nervous about is giving up our POTS. The Time-Warner bundle includes their branded VOIP service, and as with any Internet phone service if you don’t gots Internets, you don’t gots a phone. Thankfully, I can think of only two times in the past year when our cable Internet service was out, and one of them was for less than 30 minutes.

We’ll make the dish-to-cable transition on Monday (provided all goes well) and the POTS-to-VOIP transition in early January. The latter is delayed because MCI requires notification thirteen business days in advance of switching service provideds, which I think is just ludicrous.

9 thoughts on “TVstuff: Ditching the Dish”

  1. “I’ve gotten used to having 100 hours to play with and I’ll be a little disappointed if that drops to 35 hours”

    So… you’ll be disappointed in having less hours of things that you don’t have time to watch…?

  2. I too, have all three services through cable. Re: phone, I expect that once you have switched over, you will then get to experience what I am currently going through. Our lovely ice storm knocked out the cable, internet and phone on December 11. As of today, Christmas Eve, service has still not been restored and they aren’t willing to commit to when it WILL be restored. 🙂 Enjoy. Oh. And buy a cell phone!

    1. @Slowhand — Yeah, you’re pretty much living my nightmare scenario. We do have two cell phones in the house, so we’ll at least be able to communicate with the outside world by phone in the event of a cable-related catastrophe.

      Will you get a credit on your bill for the downtime? I should hope so.

  3. Having just today (Dec 29th) gotten service back, I am now girding me loins (yes, I said it) to speak to them about the bill.

    1. @Slowhand — I wish you the best of luck, sir. I have to contact Time-Warner customer service about the fact that their guy showed up at 10:30 for an installation that was scheduled between 8:00 and 10:00.

  4. I have cable and my dvr is 60 hrs non hd programming. less with hd. I origianally couldn’t wait to get on demand but I find I rarely watch it because of said dvr and netflix. But I also don’t have a young apprentice and there is a fair amount of childrens programming on demand. I hope you enjoy the new set up.

    1. @willywoollove — As it turns out, having a digital cable box with DVR and subscribing to “basic plus extended” service isn’t the same as having “digital basic” cable. It’s an important distinction because the former service doesn’t include most of the OnDemand stuff. Grr.

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